View Full Version : Environment: Factory

11 November 2006, 06:16 PM
Hi all,
I'm putting a reel together to try and get a job in the games industry, so I'm making a little bit of a game level. It will be part of a factory, and the rooms I will be finishing for my reel will be a office/workshop area, and a storage room. Here's some screenshots from Hammer (it will be for HL2) of the general layout, and some of the models I have done recently. I also have a few I will be using from another game level that was never finished. If you want to see a more long-winded version of this, check out my blog link below :) ( ( (

11 November 2006, 06:31 PM
the geometry looks good, make sure its lit and textured well, that seems to be where most hammmer maps fail.

11 November 2006, 06:52 PM
wow, already inside an engine :eek:

I'm like :drool:

Hammer is weird, I can't start it :hmm:

looking farward for more. Love the last shot

11 November 2006, 07:28 PM
Bit too early to say on the map, but it looks promising.

Loving the props, though :)

11 November 2006, 10:16 PM
The map looks like an interesting layout and the modelling and texturing looks good. Have you thought about what this factory is going to be making? Will there be any machinery or objects the factory has produced lying around?

11 November 2006, 11:37 PM
Hellboy, the only thing I've got inside the engine are boxes so far ;) That's too bad that you can't open hammer.

I'm not sure what the factory will be making yet. These two rooms that I'm doing first will mostly just contain machine parts, so some sort of non-descript machiney looking things.

Here's a bit of an update. For the Hammer shot, I'm trying to come up with a good layout for a little office and small workshop area, and ideas on that? Here are a few more props too, keep in mind this is being rendered in Maya right now, not the game engine. ( ( (

11 November 2006, 04:34 AM
heh,I can open Hammer but I've never done anything productive in it.:scream:

nice work on this one..what kind polycount are you shooting for across the whole level?

I was looking at the stools & table,wondering if the scale is off on them,the stools look a bit big..or the tables too small

good luck!

11 November 2006, 05:41 AM
Thanks Stefan. I don't really have an idea of what the overall count will/should be. I think I'll just keep going, and if it starts getting a bit ridiculous, I'll cut back. I made a boot but I still need to bend and squish it. Also, please note the props aren't in the positions they'll be in the level, I just find it handy to keep everything together first, to check scale issues, as Stefan noted. (

11 November 2006, 02:42 AM
Well, I spent a rather boring and stressful day getting the models I've got so far into hammer. I also discovered that Source has a really hard time figuring out the lighting for models when using sunlight. I was getting things like completely black models sitting in direct sun. As a result, I'm going with texture based lighting coming through the windows, which seems to be looking good so far. These screenshots were taken with some colour correction in HL2 itself. The colour correction tools are great :) It's like realtime photoshop, and can be proximity based. ( ( ( (

11 November 2006, 02:50 AM
looking good man!! where did you learn to compile the map? I have a hard time getting good results.

Keep it up


11 November 2006, 03:48 AM
Yeah, Synth, this is turning out to be one sexy map. Meant to comment on this earlier this week :). That paint bucket though, not sure if the FOV is messed up or if its jus that fat, haha. The spatial layout is looking good though I'm wondering what will occupy the center area. What are you planning on using this for?

hese screenshots were taken with some colour correction in HL2 itself. The colour correction tools are great :) It's like realtime photoshop, and can be proximity based. Whaaa?! See, your comments both make wish I had continued trying to learn the source engine as well as remind me why I quit. What is the image correction stuff like? Well, now that the Unreal 3 Engine editor is out I think I will be skipping source for sure :)

Keep us posted!

11 November 2006, 03:56 AM
Lighting's looking good.

Will be watching this one evolve, should turn out to be one stunning map :D

11 November 2006, 04:21 AM
Thanks Baker :) I'm not quite sure by what you mean for learning how to compile, I just picked the normal options for BSP, VIS, and RAD. I am also using HDR. I'm sure someone else around here would do much better at explaining things about Hammer than me, I'm not really doing anything special at all.

The paint bucket is fairly normal I think, things get really warped at the edges in widescreen mode with the fov moved from 75 to 90 Also, because of that, that center area isn't actually as big as it looks in that shot, I may put a table or shelf on the edges of it, but it'll mostly just be empty. The side without the office will have some sort of workshop things in it, so that may spill over into that section as well.

Here's a link to some info about colour correction in Source, I just found out about it a week or so ago. It's probably the most amazing thing I've ever seen in a game engine :D

I think Source is pretty good, once you can get past the rough parts The lighting is just wonderful to work with. I suppose it might be easier if I was using XSI, or at least tried getting the Maya export script working like it should, I'm needing to dig into the exported models and do some command line stuff to get the models in right now, not too fun.

Thanks ArchangelTalon, let's hope so ;)

11 November 2006, 10:24 AM
The color correction is indeed a powerfull tool, i also added it to my map 2 weeks ago. You can do really cool stuff with it, the HDR is also great, but to bad there are some issues with it, i mailed Valve about them, but knowing Valve and their MOD community help I got what I expected, no reply. About your work, very impressive so far, maybe a bit too detailed for such a small area in the overall map? Depends how big the map is, or if it's just a portfolio work/room you're making, than I would add as much as possible of course :p. Can't wait to see the texturing procress. I'll watch this thread with hawk eyes :)

11 November 2006, 03:25 PM
What sort of issues were you having with HDR? I remember when it first came out props wouldn't have any shadows, but that appears to be fixed now. This is going to be a portfolio piece right now, and as I need something soon, I'm just doing 2 or 3 rooms. I would like to do the whole map though, but right now I am just rushing to get a small part done.

11 November 2006, 03:39 PM
Here what I said in my mail to valve:

In game i can set the following values to whatever i want (i want these settings):

mat_bloomscale "0.2"
mat_autoexposure_max "5.0"
mat_autoexposure_max "1.0"

This is how I think my map looks best. I added these settings in my map (HAMMER) and compiled it.
After compile the settings are incorrect in game, they always stay the same after each compile and with different values.
These are the settings that always appear after compiling

mat_bloomscale "1.0"
mat_autoexposure_max "2.0"
mat_autoexposure_max "0.5"

Basically, the value's set ingame in realtime work, but after compiling they set back to the same values over and over again, so the values in hammer don't work.

11 November 2006, 03:58 PM
Ah, I haven't tried adjusting those settings yet. It'd be nice if they'd put out some more documentation about HDR, they kind of seem to have given up writing docs.

11 November 2006, 09:59 PM
wow these shots are really nicely lit-- I have no idea Source engine is capable of this type of lighting --- very inspiring work man-- thanks for posting your work here :thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 05:54 AM
Thanks euclidius. I really like how the Source engine is focused on lighting, rather than correct, black, hard edged shadows that everything else seems to like...

Here's a little update, I think I'm almost done the props for this room, then I'll start texturing. In one of the shots you can see how source does shadows... I may make the workbench a model, rather than brushes to get around that. ( ( ( (

11 November 2006, 04:41 AM
I started a bit of texturing today. Please ignore the walls for now, I just needed to get rid of that orange :scream: I think it's getting a bit bright in the first pic, I'll either lower the light or do some colour correction and get a bit of contrast back in there. ( (

11 November 2006, 11:02 PM
Looks Phenomenal as usual. cant wait to see a few more details.

11 November 2006, 02:13 AM
Arghh lose that generic crate texure top right on the second picture for me it really detracts from your map, im loving your models i just wanna walk around them wondering what each one does!

Lighting wise have you thought about having possibly candles or possibly torches scattered around? I know its supposed to be an abandoned warehouse but im worried just the texture lighting will make it look over saturated.

Anywho goodwork, keep it up!

11 November 2006, 04:24 AM
Thanks Alex.

Carter, those crates were done last year, as part of a different map that kinda went sideways... They will definitely be redone. I think you're probably thinking something different than I am when I say "texture lights". What I mean is I made a little box outside the windows, and covered it with an emitting texture. This basically acts as a large area light. The saturation really isn't dependent on it, it's just a light like any other.

I did a small bit of texturing. These are still very much wip, especially the walls. Do you think the dust on top of the box looks like dust? I'd like to give every top facing surface a coating. ( ( (

11 November 2006, 05:08 AM
Looking great man. i think the dust could be a bit thicker, more opaque. one way to make it really clear that it is dust, is to disturb it here and there. a fingerprint, a circle where a can or cup might have rested, etc. having it on every surface will definitely help too. that vice, for instace, will look a lot more "in the scene" with a layer of dust.

in the third image, the tins are casting hard shadows (which is odd given the lighting), and the shelves aren't. i only mention this becasue it hurts my brain.

keep it coming man. i've just started playing with Hammer again and i'm watching with interest.



11 November 2006, 04:54 PM
Ah yeah i see I was completely wrong then! For the dust have you thought about having a decal with an alpha layer? That way you could just slap down the decal wherever you thought there would be a layer of dust

11 November 2006, 04:33 AM
In the third image, the tins are casting hard shadows (which is odd given the lighting), and the shelves aren't. i only mention this because it hurts my brain.

Ah yes, the joy's of Source's shadows... The shelf is a static model, so the shadows are baked into the lightmap, which isn't too high res on that wall apparently, while the others are dynamic props, and cast realtime shadows which don't have a sharpness control. I'll try figuring something out for that.

Getting dust to look right is quite a struggle...
Ah yeah i see I was completely wrong then! For the dust have you thought about having a decal with an alpha layer? That way you could just slap down the decal wherever you thought there would be a layer of dust
This would only work for world textures, and right now that's only the floor, walls, and beams, so not that great of a solution for the way I'm doing it unfortunately. Just painting it in should be fine, as most props will have their own texture space.

I haven't done a whole lot more, just chugging away on the textures for some props. Some of them still obviously need touching up, but I think overall it's moving in the right direction. So far all the props are on one 1024 sheet. (

11 November 2006, 08:05 PM
Synthesizer very nice work so far, yeah that lighting is really nice. Even with the wip textures its look very good, if this doesnt get you a job....then there is no hope for any of us.

You were a texture artist for BMS right?

11 November 2006, 08:11 PM
if this doesnt get you a job....then there is no hope for any of us.
I certainly hope so...

You were a texture artist for BMS right?
Yeah, a long time ago, and not for very long, or well, for a while, but I didn't do a whole lot.

11 November 2006, 08:45 PM
Your work is an instiration to me
I was wondering if you ever might make a little tutorial on how you go about importing your models into hammer I have done a little work with importing
but no need to stop to do that
lookin great keep it up cant wait to see more:thumbsup:

11 November 2006, 07:04 PM
Thanks HughieDM. I'm using Prall's great Maya exporter, found here: I don't really have any time to write a tutorial, but you can find lots of good info here and here

Here's some more texture updates. On to the plastic and wood textures now :) (

12 December 2006, 06:54 PM
wow Synthesizer, its coming along well :thumbsup:

I looked at this yesterday, was planning to reply but became too busy and eventually got knocked out sleep :D

looking farward for more. Do you have any plans of releasing a tutorial with that engine. Would be cool

12 December 2006, 07:12 PM
Just found your thread in here.
Verynice work so far :thumbsup:
Your skills have been underused in the collabs.. :D :)

12 December 2006, 07:16 PM
Thanks guys :)

A tutorial may follow a while later, once I finish this and get my site up.

Yeah, I suppose I should link back to this from my blog site as well. You're saying I need to work on more than one collab? You're crazy! :scream:

12 December 2006, 08:54 AM
Looks absolutely fab, can't wait to see it done :)

12 December 2006, 04:15 AM
Thanks requiem2d.

Here's a little update, still working on that big air fan thingy. ( (

12 December 2006, 06:50 PM
Another little update. I've been playing around with the lighting a bit. I just found out another annoying thing about source. When I step into the light beams, random props will come out black. Does anyone have an idea on how to fix that? ( (

01 January 2007, 06:18 AM
Hmm, the black object problem has suddenly gone away by itself. Here's another little update: (

01 January 2007, 05:58 PM
I find your map really interesting im a fan of industrial type of maps and the environement and look of the map currently is simply amazing, love your textures, the little details that some people forget to add but you added and with quality, the props are also great well i cant say much more about it :)

Rated it 5

If you are interested in joining a game mod we at TO:Crossfire ( are open for such talented person like you, we are also in the search of talented mappers/environement artists, animators and sound artists. At the moment we are Unreal Tournament 2004 mod but we are going UT2007 :)

01 January 2007, 09:15 PM
wow this is really shaping up nicley. really love the volume light coming through the windows, looks appropriatly dusty. one thing i noticed is maybe perhaps a bit too much wear and tear on things, it looks a little bit noisy in some screens like the one with the white door. make sure there is a bit of contrast between damage and minmal damage in some aread. looks fantastic so far and keep at'er really inspiring.

01 January 2007, 02:41 AM
Thanks Leviathan. Sorry, right now I'm trying to get a job with this project, and then after that I've still got the Minas Tirith Project to work on, which I really haven't done much on lately.

ts_falcon, thanks for the tips. I have noticed that it's getting a bit noisy, I'll try clearing that up a bit.

Here's another little update. I'm not sure about what to do with the smaller room, it seems to be lacking something. What are everyone's thoughts on the colour of it? Oh, and the models showing through the light glow problem popped up again :sad: ( ( (

01 January 2007, 04:50 AM
Well, I think it's just about done except for the stairs, some overlays and a few tweaks here and there. ( ( ( ( ( ( (

01 January 2007, 05:31 AM
damn nice. it looked good before the textures were on it, now it looks damn creepy [in a good way].

are you going to let others download this map? or are you just doing it in Hammer for the practice/get a job?

01 January 2007, 05:42 AM
Thanks. I definitely do want to release it, although I'd rather have it something that's playable before doing so, as it'd be rather boring right now. I also have to figure out how to pack all the assets up into the map file, and it seems as if you have to write out the path to every texture/model, which is something I'm not in the mood for right now ;)

01 January 2007, 11:55 PM
This is looking great man, keep up the awesome work :)

01 January 2007, 01:54 AM
This one is neat :drool:
Great work on this piece of stuff.
U have get a lot of greatness 'cos using of source and its light. Cool, especially brightness of windows create fantastic mood.:thumbsup:

01 January 2007, 05:11 AM
Thanks guys.

I've just about got everything all wrapped up, so I'll be recording a video walkthrough soon to put onto my reel, which I hope to get done, along with my website before the end of the month. Then it's job hunting, wish me luck :)

01 January 2007, 06:35 PM
wow, Very Very Good MAN! Your Environment has Good light ...

you are nice Level Designer!

01 January 2007, 06:31 PM
Thanks Valve. I was a bit worried when I saw the notice in my email that it was actually Vavle games replying :p

I've got a little walkthrough video up here:

I think I might have to rerecord it though, perhaps with fraps, HL2's record seems to speed up and make it a bit jerky.

01 January 2007, 10:42 PM
:thumbsup: nice! I love it.

01 January 2007, 11:04 PM
Great work, I love the textures and the lighting is just superb. Can you drop a few words about the lighting, please ? I have a locomotive garage scene where I tried to make the lighting like yours for a long time, but I still couldn't find the right way. Now I see you've made it so...I'm a bit curious how :)

01 January 2007, 11:06 PM
very nice!
textures are excellent, as are the models.
The engine really shows off the work, especially with that lighting coming through the windows.

03 March 2007, 06:29 AM
I wrote an overview here:
It is concerning texture lighting, the method I used for this factory. I also added a few spot lights to fill in the dark corners.

03 March 2007, 08:18 AM
Overall I must say you have done a real great job here. I've been watching your progress on the scene but only today noticed the latest images (which, I must admit, are from two months back - shame on me). In general the quality is high though there are a few things that caught my eye:

- The concrete structures stand out a bit too much as all the corners look absolutely sharp. I would personally put in small bevels to the corners to smoothen them out, as in real life there is no such thing as a sharp corner (and even less so when talking about concrete).

- The generic level of dirtyness and decay seems to be very isotropic, meaning the dirt is everywhere and pretty much as strong. To get more out of things being dirty and broken if you have something less dirty and broken in the scene to draw contrast from. Additionally, it is quite hard in real life to get everything to decay as much and at the same pace - in any building that has been abandoned for years you can still find surfaces that look surprisingly new.

I hope this didn't come across too harsh. I just feel your already great scene could benefit from some small additional touch-ups.

Keep up the high quality work!

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